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Postponement Could Cost Rolling Stones Up To $10m

The postponement of The Rolling Stones14 On Fire Australian tour in the wake of the death of Mick Jagger‘s partner L’Wren Scott, could potentially cost the legendary band and the multiple parties involved in staging the tour up to US$10 million, according to a new report from Billboard.

As they write, industry sources have indicated that the costs of everything from deposits on venues such as the Perth Arena, where the band was set to launch the highly anticipated Australian leg of their 14 On Fire tour, to travel and the storage of gear, could mean a hefty bill for the group.

“We are talking venues that were set up, production that would be in trucks and in motion around the country, crew flights, accommodation, dozens of vehicles and drivers in each city, catering companies in various stages of setting up… right down to thousands and thousands of T-shirts printed with cancelled dates on the back,” rival promoter AJ Maddah told Fairfax last week.

Industry sources have now echoed the sentiments of the Soundwave promoter to Billboard, explaining that simply chartering the gear involved in staging a production the size of the 14 On Fire tour could have cost the Stones and promoter Frontier Touring as much as US$250,000.

Such productions are typically covered by insurance policies and 14 On Fire more than likely had multiple insurers in place to cover any and all liabilities. As Billboard writes, the exposure each party faces will be dependent upon the type of insurance carried, which is unclear at this time.

As one industry figure experienced in megatours indicated, a cancellation of this type requires parties to show that circumstances were beyond control and the act was unable to perform for that reason. Major tour policies usually allow acts to name individuals whose severe illness, injury or death would justify cancellation—wives, children, and sometimes parents and longtime companions.

In the case of a death like Scott’s, the act is typically required to reschedule, provided the costs are less than the claim. According to Billboard, regardless of the level of insurance, the Stones’ Australian visit is likely to be financially profitable for the band, due to the level of demand.

After the band postponed 15 European dates of their A Bigger Bang tour in 2006, following guitarist Keith Richards‘ fall from a tree in Fiji which injured his head, requiring surgery, the band went on to gross US$558 million, with the tour coming in second only to U2‘s famous 360° stadium tour.

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